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Steelers NFL Notebook: Saints bring Ki-Jana Carter to camp

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

By The Associated Press

The New Orleans Saints, still looking for a backup running back in the last week of training camp, brought in former No. 1 draft pick Ki-Jana Carter yesterday.

Carter, drafted first by Cincinnati in 1995 after three impressive seasons at Penn State, practiced with the Saints yesterday.

Carter was cut by the Packers last year when Green Bay made its mandatory cuts to reach the roster limit of 65. Carter never challenged for the Packers' backup tailback job behind starter Ahman Green, as Rondell Mealey won the job.

"It's been a long time since I've been in this situation," Carter said. "Last year, things didn't work out for me in Green Bay. And during the season, I was just biting my nails hoping I would get another shot."

Saints Coach Jim Haslett said Carter made a good first impression.

"I think he's got pretty good vision, pretty good running skills," Haslett said. "I have to see him with some pads on, but you could see why he was the No. 1 overall pick at one time."

Carter's career has been marred by injuries. He spent his entire rookie season with the Bengals on the injured list after his knee was seriously injured in the preseason. Carter missed the 1995 and 2000 seasons with injuries, and played in just one game in 1998 and three in 1999 before Cincinnati gave up on him. He served as a backup in Washington in 2001.

In his seven-year career, Carter started just 14 of a possible 112 games, carrying 290 times for 1,055 yards and 19 touchdowns.

Patriots release CB Smith

Cornerback Otis Smith, a 13-year veteran and a key contributor to New England's 2002 Super Bowl championship, was released by the Patriots after he struggled to recover from a shoulder injury.

Smith has been injured since December, when his shoulder was hurt in the fourth quarter of New England's 24-7 loss to Tennessee. He has not practiced at all this summer.

"Nobody has more respect for Otis than I do," Patriots Coach Bill Belichick said. "He's an ultimate professional, a team player. It's a difficult roster decision that we made."

Shanahan given extension

The Denver Broncos gave Coach Mike Shanahan a three-year contract extension, tying him to the franchise through 2008. Salary terms of the extension were not released.

Shanahan, who had three years remaining on his previous deal, would be Denver's head coach for 14 years if he serves out the remainder of his new contract.

That would be longer than Dan Reeves' team-record 12 years.

Shanahan guided the Broncos to Super Bowl titles in the 1997 and 1998 seasons, but the Broncos have gone 34-30 since then with only one playoff appearance -- a first-round loss in 2000.

Suggs fails physical

Browns rookie running back Lee Suggs failed his physical and cannot yet practice.

Suggs, who signed a five-year contract last week, watched from the sideline as the Browns prepared for Saturday's exhibition game against the Detroit Lions.

He had shoulder surgery in May, one month after the Browns selected him in the fourth round of the NFL draft. The club knew at the time he would need the operation.

Suggs rushed for 1,325 yards and 22 touchdowns last season for Virginia Tech after having knee surgery in 2001.

Texans FB out

The Texans absorbed some expected bad news yesterday when team doctors confirmed second-year fullback Jarrod Baxter will miss the season with a severe sprain in the middle of his left foot. Baxter was hurt in Houston's 34-6 loss Friday at Dallas.

Quick outs

Rashard Cook, a backup safety and key special teams player who missed most of last season with a knee injury, signed a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.

The New York Jets waived defensive backs DeShaun Hill, Will Hunter and Kevin Knight along with kicker Danny Kight while signing receiver Cedric James, who was released by the Minnesota Vikings last week after two-injury plagued seasons.

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